America warns of more embassy attacks

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AMERICA believes that its embassies have been targeted for further attack, and is preparing new missile strikes, news reports last night said.

ABC news reported that US officials said they had discovered several specific cases where embassies had apparently been reconnoitred in preparation for attacks.

In Oslo and the Hague, bomb threats had been made, and embassy security personnel had caught people whom they claimed had been videotaping or recording details.

There was also an incident at the US embassy in Riyadh, where a car had been discovered with a package taped underneath it, and in Thailand. The details of the investigations show that US security officials are concerned that another attack is under preparation, and want to prepare the American public for the possibility.

On 7 September , the US embassies and Central Intelligence Agency stations in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam were bombed, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.

In retaliation the US struck targets in Afghanistan and Sudan which it said were linked to Osama bin Laden, a financier of Islamic groups around the world and a sworn enemy of the US. "We will see a reaction by bin Laden and his associates," Louis Freeh, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation told Congress yesterday. US officials are also apparently anxious to prepare the world for the possibility of new missile strikes. The same report said that the Pentagon has been updating its list of possible targets.

The report emphasised that US intelligence officials want to make sure all of the information is up to date, an apparent reaction to widespread criticism of the missile strike on a Sudanese factory which America claimed was making a precursor for chemical weapons, and Sudan says was just a pharmaceutical factory.

America has shifted to a much more active policy of retaliation and pre- emptive strikes when it is attacked, or fears it might be. The policy has been received critically abroad and (to a lesser degree) at home, but US officials have briefed Congress intensively since in an effort to command wider support. After at first saying that none of the evidence about the Sudan plant could be released, they then detailed precisely how they had obtained the information - from an agent who was neither American nor Sudanese.

t FBI agents searched two homes and sought a suspect in a possible Comorian connection to the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania last month, police said yesterday in this archipelago off the East African coast of Tanzania.

Police identified the suspect as Abdallah Mohammed Fadhul, a Comorian Muslim who had lived with his wife in Sudan until shortly after the embassy bombings last month in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Police detained Fadhul's wife and his brother for questioning.

The possible Comorian connection came to light when investigators found a Comorian phone number in Nairobi, the police said, without elaborating.

Transit links between the Comoros and the East African coast are subject to light security, raising the possibility they may have been used to transport bomb-making ingredients.